Kawadi, one of our Siberian Huskies, died this morning, just before 10am. He died, essentially, just before I carried him from the car to the veterinary office. This morning at feeding he went out into the dog yard and laid down and did not want to come back to his pen when when I filled his bowl. That has never happened, he is normally an overexcited eater. He did come back when I called him, but just sat down and did not eat. I lead him out to lay in the sun. He got up and moved, but was staggering about finding a new spot. He moved again and was clearly getting worse. Soon it was apparent that he was not even able to get up. I had called the vet and left a message about his staggering, but decided I had better just take him in, and to another vet if my vet was too busy. I had to carry him to the car. He was already only able to keep his head up. In the car, he slid half off the seat and did not even try to get himself up. I moved him back onto the seat. All this time his breathing was labored. He was still breathing until close to the vet's office. When I opened the door to get him out, he looked to be not breathing. He had pushed out a little poop halfway. I put this on the ground and picked him up. I could see that he had peed a little, also. I could tell he was gone, but he seemed to gasp as I lifted him, lifeless though he was. I carried him in, completely limp, and placed him on the table. The vet tech immediately checked for a heart beat and could not find one. The vet came in, he seemed to gasp again, and she, too, could not find a heart beat. I wanted her to do cpr or give him a shot of epinephrine, anything, but she said he was gone. I don't know if dogs can be revived, she said they almost never can be. He was such a good, hard working dog. I cannot believe he is gone. We just went on a sledding trip this past weekend with my kids, to a forest service cabin, and he was his normal incredible self. I wonder if he could have been injured, and I did not notice. He is at a lab now, and they are trying to determine the cause of the death.
Kawadi had a tumor on his heart that resulted in the rupture of the wall of his heart. This had been developing a long time, had metastasized, and he had lots of nodules on his lungs. He did not seem to suffer, but I cannot be sure. He must have been confused by it, but he did not moan or carry on in a way that seemed painful. He fairly quickly lost mobility. During this time his breathing was labored. It took me about fifteen minutes to drive to the vet's office, and in this time his breathing and heartbeat stopped. He never made a sound, and he was a dog that loved to make sounds.
Kawadi was one of my noisy dogs. When I brought food out, he was always jumping up with a moaning, crying, howling that was a real ruckus. If we stopped on the trail and he was wanting to keep moving, he was carrying on in that same way. His noises were uninterpretable to people along the trail that could hear him but not see him. They would not know what was making that sound. He was a hard worker, his tug was always tight. He was a beautiful dog, and although I only had him a little more than two years, he was maybe my favorite dog. When I first took him and his brothers from a commercial sledding kennel, they were seven years old and so hand shy you could not approach them. It was just a dream that maybe one day they would not be the fearful animals that they were. To put his harness on I would have to corral him into his dog house and then get down on my knees and go in myself and put the harness over his head. He had been raised chained to a stake, and I guess only handled to take his harness on or off, be moved to or from the truck, moved to or from the gangline. One of his brothers was not that bad, he would allow himself to be cornered in the dog pen without heading into the doghouse. The other brother was so bad he would go to the back of the doghouse to such a degree that I thought I should just leave him alone. That first winter I eventually decided to not even run them in harness, but just went into the dog yard with them and hung out. Slowly they came around, and it was such a joy every time they would come over to be petted, learning to love to have the hands on them. In harness, Kawadi was awesome, hitting hard and voicing his opinion that it was time to go. Once moving, he was quiet and all business. I can't even yet understand how much I am going to miss him. The first winter was tough, but he then gave me and my girls two great sledding seasons. He had a white marking on his forehead that looked like a heart. I love you, Quadheart. I will always miss you.
-- Anonymous --
Sled Dog Central welcomes and will consider publishing stories contributed by readers, nonprofits and clubs. They should be 200 to 400 words and accompanied by 1-4 good-quality photograph(s).
Copyright © 1997-2016, Sled
Dog Central, all rights reserved.